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Game Thread #4: Braves (2-1) at Brewers (0-3)

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At long last, baseball returns to Miller Park!


Current Series

4 game series vs Braves @ Miller Park

Atlanta Braves
@ Milwaukee Brewers

Monday, Apr 4, 2011, 1:10 PM CDT
Miller Park

Brandon Beachy vs Chris Narveson

Mostly cloudy. Winds blowing out to center field at 25-30 m.p.h. Game time temperature around 45.

Monday's Frosty Mug
Series Preview #2: Talking Braves With Talking Chop

Complete Coverage >

Tue 04/05 7:10 PM CDT
Wed 04/06 7:10 PM CDT
Thu 04/07 12:40 PM CDT

Follow the jump for today's pitching matchup, lineup and more!

Chris Narveson (6.23 ERA this spring, 4.99 in 2010) is in an Opening Day rotation for the first time in his career. Last year he opened the season in the bullpen, making nine relief appearances before his first start on April 28. Narveson got off to a hot start this spring (allowing one earned run in his first 7.2 innings), but fizzled a bit as March went along. He allowed 14 earned runs over 14 innings in his last three starts. In his last tuneup against the Indians on March 25 he allowed three runs on six hits over five innings, walking two and striking out seven.

In his first year as a full time major league starter in 2010, Narveson seemed to shift away from his fastball and rely more heavily on other pitches. He throws a high-80's fastball but only uses it around 46% of the time, filling the rest of the time with his changeup (21%), curve (19%) and slider (14%). According to FanGraphs, the curve was his only above average pitch in 2010. It was really good, though, at +1.35 runs per 100.

Narveson faced the Braves one time last season and picked up a quality start, allowing two runs on six hits and a walk over six innings in a 6-3 Brewer win. Dan Uggla is 2-for-5 with a walk and a strikeout against Narveson, but no other Brave has faced him more than six times.

He'll face Brandon Beachy (0.90 ERA this spring, 3.00 in 2010), making just his fourth major league start. Here's a scouting report on him from Scott Coleman of Talking Chop:

He had an incredible year last season in Double and Triple-A and he even made a few starts for Atlanta during the playoff run. Most figured Mike Minor (who is starting in place of Jair Jurrjens in Wednesday's game) would win the 5th spot in the rotation this Spring, but it was Beachy who beat him out and claimed the spot.
He's armed with a solid fastball that sits in the 89-93 range and features an above-average curveball. He also used a changeup but it's not nearly as good or as polished as the other two pitches.
Beachy is facing the Brewers for the first time today. Nyjer Morgan faced him in September as a member of the Nationals, though, and went 1-for-2 with a walk and an RBI.


Lineup:

Rickie Weeks 2B

Carlos Gomez CF
Ryan Braun LF

Prince Fielder 1B
Casey McGehee 3B

Yuniesky Betancourt SS
Nyjer Morgan RF

Wil Nieves C

Chris Narveson P


Bullpen:

Sean Green pitched 1 inning (29 pitches) yesterday, and also pitched on Saturday.
Brandon Kintzler pitched 1.1 innings (37 pitches) yesterday.
John Axford pitched 0.2 innings (19 pitches) yesterday.
Mitch Stetter pitched 0.2 innings (12 pitches) yesterday.
Kameron Loe pitched 0.1 innings (6 pitches) yesterday.
Sergio Mitre pitched 2 innings (21 pitches) Saturday.
Zach Braddock pitched .1 innings (3 pitches) Saturday.
Takashi Saito pitched 1 inning (18 pitches) Thursday.


Forecast:


It's a little cold outside today, with temps around 40 and a chance of rain. The roof is presumably closed, though, so it won't be a problem.


Enjoy the game!